Advanced training series “Working with trauma in drama therapy” 2023 – 2024

An advanced training for drama therapists

Based on the assumption that we humans are capable of transforming traumatic experiences, this advanced training series deals with the potential of drama therapy to initiate and accompany healing processes in traumatised people through the healing powers of the body and play.

Drama therapy bodywork and play forms make it possible to experience safety and protection, to feel boundaries, support and connection, to (re)gain impulse control and therefore to find a healthy way of dealing with inner and outer boundaries. Building on this, dramatic reality allows for the symbolic representation of traumatising experiences in a clearly defined protective space and in a state of being held.

A drama therapy training is a prerequisite for this advanced training. If you participate in all 6 weekends, you will receive an advanced training certificate from the ITT. The optional weekends may be additionally listed there.

If places are available, it is also possible to participate only in individual weekends; participants in the overall advanced training have priority in the allocation.


Module 1:
Teaching the basics of understanding and dealing with trauma in a healing way

Neurophysiological and psychodynamic connections, the importance of the body as well as social contexts and support networks, specific drama therapy approaches for the physical-emotional processing of traumatic experiences, for the expression of pain and grief and for the support of emotional control and self-empowerment.

Facilitator: Ingrid Lutz, Bettina Stoltenhoff-Erdmann
Date: January 13 – 15, 2023
Location: Berlin-Kreuzberg


Module 2 and 3:
Drama therapy approaches and methods for the treatment of adults and adolescents with trauma experience in group and individual therapy – centered stabilisation

Through directed therapeutically accompanied newly made experiences, people with trauma experiences regain stability and self-efficacy and can redefine themselves, within themselves and in context to others. Drama therapy offers different ways to activate resources in the here and now. Special body work that counteracts fear and numbness and the use of different methods offers the possibility of a strengthening approach to traumatic experiences in the protection of dramatic reality. Careful and effective exploration and release of traumatically bound energy help to create new room for action. This stabilising work is the basis of any trauma treatment. In these two modules we will deal with the practical application of tried and tested methods, with case studies and new theoretical insights.

Module 2

Facilitator: Bettina Stoltenhoff-Erdmann
Date: March 3 – 5, 2023
Location: Bochum, New Paths Center, Brandenbuschstr. 6

Module 3

Facilitator: Bettina Stoltenhoff-Erdmann
Date: May 12 – 14, 2023
Location: Bochum, New Paths Center, Brandenbuschstr. 6


Module 4:
Drama therapy with children traumatised at an early age (optional)

Trauma has a particular impact on children’s well-being, development and behaviour. The younger a person, the fewer resources they have to protect themselves and the more they depend on adults to provide security and care. In the case of early and persistently traumatised children, caregivers were often not present or were themselves the source of the traumatisation.

We will learn ways of looking at the child – what story his body tells, what clues to traumatisation he gives us through his play.

Furthermore, drama therapy approaches for the physical-emotional processing of traumatic experiences, for the expression of pain and grief and for the support of self-empowerment are practically tested.
Dramatic reality thereby honours necessary loyalties of the child to attachment figures, through creating a space in which issues and dynamics can be shown on a symbolic level without having to reveal what has been directly experienced.

In addition, there is room for concomitant work with the child’s surrounding systems (family, school, residential group …). The main goal here is to make trauma-related behaviour understandable and to find a curative way of dealing with it.

Facilitator: Bettina Merschmeyer
Date: August 25 – 27, 2023
Location: probably Rheine-Mesum (NRW)


Module 5:
Ways out of the rigidity of life and towards aliveness I + The essence of ‘violence’ as a player in the trauma events.

“Only in a safe environment that provides support and security can a cognitive and emotional reassessment of the trauma take place. The process must first take place on the body stage – in a sense, have first completed a loop through the body” (Antonio Damasio).

Traumatisation activates extreme energies that remains bound in the nervous system. Body therapy approaches to experience self-efficacy and allow a new access to (re)anchoring in one’s own body, (among others from ‘Somatic Experiencing’ according to P. Levine) in combination with drama therapy methods enable the release of the deeply anchored consequences of the trauma in small steps. In the process of thawing out the frozen reaction, we encounter an important player in the trauma process: the immense energy stored in the numbing reaction and the violence experienced and seen. Here we teach body and drama therapy methods to test these ‘tremendous’ energies in a safe context and to release the vital aggressive energy from the vicious circle of destructiveness, so it can be used for living. In systemic enactments we illuminate the perpetrator-victim dynamic as a marker for stagnant development and blockage of creativity and also look at the inevitable (transference) triggers in the therapist.

Facilitator: Ingrid Lutz
Date: October 13 – 15, 2023
Location: Berlin-Kreuzberg


Module 6:
Ways out of the rigidity of life and towards aliveness II – Drama therapy trauma integration and exposure

Ritual and theater have been used since the beginning of time to help individuals and communities live with traumatic experiences. The drama therapy approach is characterised by providing a creative and vital connection between the original healing functions of ritual and theater and insights from modern psycho- and social therapies in practical application. Ritual structures for the (re-)experience of belonging to a social community are used here as well as mythical images for the classification of traumatic events in the personal reality and history of life. The access to resources and self-healing powers thus mediated make it possible to cope with a traumatic experience and to achieve a significant improvement in the quality of life even without a trauma confrontation in the narrower sense.

In some situations, however, a so-called trauma exposure is useful or unavoidable. The goal of trauma exposure is to connect the pieces of recollections scattered in the body’s memory, thus enabling the brain to store them as related information from an ‘old film’ and to classify them as the past. The preceding experience of security and self-efficacy, along with a trusting therapeutic relationship and the learning of distancing techniques, form the basis for this confrontation with the traumatic experience, as does the opportunity for the expression of previously withheld emotional responses (screaming, crying, kicking, hitting, etc.). Often the lack of such opportunities -, e.g. because a sexual abuse is ‘hushed up’ by the family, – has allowed the traumatic state of shock to become a chronic post-traumatic stress disorder. There the physical and atmospheric opportunity for this expression is helpful/necessary in order to bring the traumatic event into a (new) context of meaning and to correct negative self-attributions.

Direction: Ingrid Lutz
Date: December 8 – 10, 2023
Location: Berlin-Kreuzberg


Module 7:
Trauma and Spirituality (optional).

“People overcome crises when they see meaning in their lives.” (Viktor E. Frankl)

Most people after a trauma want to return to normalcy as quickly as possible. However, the profound emotional shock and breakdown of the existing worldview and existing contexts of meaning can also lead to an equally profound confrontation with existential questions such as, “Who am I, why am I in the world, what is the meaning of it all, …?”

Traumas take people close to death in real or emotional terms, confronting us with ‘evil’ and suffering. The therapeutic processing of trauma often opens to other dimensions of perception and exposes psychic forces that are beyond the ordinary personal.

However, spirituality can also serve as a refuge for traumatised people, precisely in order to no longer have to participate in life and to bypass or avoid the traumatic wounds and unfinished developmental tasks.

This workshop will try to explore the fine line between these two options, both practically and theoretically, and to test forms of transpersonal access applicable to trauma work, in order to experience oneself as a complete, whole being – and thus to create a space for development and healing.

Direction: Ingrid Lutz
Date: January 19 – 21, 2024
Location: Berlin-Kreuzberg


Module 8:
Supervision weekend

Using drama therapy methods case studies of work with traumatised persons are supervised in parallel groups (depending on the field of work), and the effects of trauma on the therapist are individually examined.

Facilitator: Ingrid Lutz, Betti Merschmeyer, Bettina Stoltenhoff-Erdmann
Date: March 22 – 24, 2024
Location: Berlin-Kreuzberg, European Theater Institute, Rungestr. 20



For the total training (6 modules: 1 – 3, 5, 6, 8):
1,800 € / reduced 1,600 € (for DGfT members and non-earners with proof),
payable in 5 quarterly installments of 360 € / reduced 320 € each

For single weekends: 300 € / reduced 260 €.

FR 6 :00 pm – 10:00 pm, SA 10:00 am – 7:00 pm, SO 10:00 am – 3 pm each day

Please note:
The workshop language is predominantly German

If you would like to register for this training, please fill out the form below and indicate your previous therapeutic training in the ‘Your Message’ field. By filling out the form you agree to the terms and conditions. We will contact you immediately for a confirmed registration.
If you do not wish to register for the entire training series, please indicate for which weekends (1 – 8 ) your registration should be included.




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